This is the fifth of a series exploring narcissism and probing for deeper truths. While each post provides its own value, reading all of them will provide an encompassing perspective.
In the previous post, I explored how the simple (and most challenging) act of exerting and holding a boundary changes everything. We continue from there …
Releasing Ourselves from the Unresolved Past
Last week, I talked about taking responsibility for ourselves, needing to grow up, and realizing that it’s our job to take care of ourselves on all levels. To deeply, deeply, deeply take care of ourselves, to be there for ourselves when fear arises, when we have doubt, when we feel lost and confused.
What I teach about how we do this for ourselves is to see that a lot of our inner experience is mostly kicked up old stuff from the past (these days, we call it being triggered.) It’s our job to be there for ourselves—to come inside and meet, see, love, and accept our own inner pain.
We relate to it as unresolved energy from the past which is trying to release from our system, and we assist it—lovingly, gently, and supportively to leave.
So, the last couple of weeks, the tailwinds have picked me up and are really pushing me forward way more quickly than I am ready for or am happy about, thank you very much. As a result, just about every other day, as I’m at home in the morning, and just about the time I’m ready to walk out the door, I begin to feel uncomfortable energy arise in my body.
So, I have to stop and clear the energy.
Our Unresolved Past Traumas Keep Us Stuck
Because as my life is expanding, as things are changing and moving forward, then I bump up against the parts of myself that are stuck in smallness and woundedness, in being afraid, of wanting to hide.
And I think a fundamental misconception about what it means to be a human being and living in a body is that we don’t think in this way. We think that the entirety of our internal experience is actually relevant to what’s in front of us right now.
What’s Wrong with Me?
Then we wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” Why can’t I just do this? Or something like, “I’m just not a confident person.”
I’m suggesting that in many cases, it’s only a small percentage of the difficulty that we’re experiencing in the present, that has anything to do with what’s right in front of us.
Instead, something challenging occurs in the present moment. And it acts like a tuning fork and activates the energy within our own bodies that is of a similar nature.
And if we can relate to ourselves in this way, instead of “what’s wrong with me?” the question becomes, when can I clear this old energy that has nothing to do with the actuality of my life in the present moment?
Taking Great Care of Yourself = Clearing Out the Old Energy
So then it’s our job, to be responsible to and for ourselves in those moments when we are being these fragile human beings that we are. The human experience is quite a vulnerable, fragile thing in many ways; it can be quite powerful and quite strong as well. The amazingness of being a human is that it’s such a huge spectrum of what’s possible as a human being living life on this planet.
And so, when these scared, wounded parts of us show up, what we almost never do is love them, treat them as energy, understand that they’re coming up for us to clear the energy so it can leave.
We’re Not Comfortable With Our Own Discomfort
Instead we give ourselves (or others) a hard time. And whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, we try to make our discomfort go away. We have a hard time because we’re not comfortable being with our discomfort. We haven’t learned how to be with our discomfort, our pain.
And this, to me, is what feeds this whole Narcissism Mechanism. I would posit that many of the problems we have both personally and collectively, at their root, mostly, is human beings’ unwillingness to be with our own pain and discomfort.
It’s been my experience, and I see it with the people I work with, that we are incredibly unpracticed in noticing and simply being with our own inner agitation.
And Yet It Unleashes Incredible Beauty
And then it’s truly the most beautiful thing to see people begin to take responsibility for these wounded parts of themselves, and start to show up and support themselves.
It’s a skill that can be built. It’s dead simple, there’s nothing complicated or complex about this. It’s the most natural thing one can do.
For most of us, it’s built into us that if we see a little child having this happen, we couldn’t stop ourselves from going and hugging them or expressing our care and support. Through our words and actions we would express something like this: “I see that you’re hurting. Come here. Let me hold you. Let me be with you. Let me notice you. Let me protect you.”
But when it happens inside of us, it’s painful. It hurts. It’s confusing. And we’ve been conditioned to run from that within ourselves. And we do this over and over and over again, oftentimes before we even consciously register that it’s there.
This Takes Courage, Commitment, and Unlearning What We Were Taught
There are very “good” reasons why this happens. Our bodies are doing things all the time that we are unaware of, and it’s important to understand how we work.
One is that there’s something in how we function as human beings that, when we were children, to keep us going in life, our mind/body would take the overwhelm, the terror, the fear, whatever it was, and “make it go away.”
There are mechanisms built into us which are outside of our awareness; these seem to be evolution’s way of getting us through difficult times as a child, and as an adult also. It stores the emotional energy that is too much for us, waiting for a later time when it can be resolved.
So now, if we don’t want to be controlled by this old unresolved trauma, we’re having to fight against that built-in protection mechanism. And we’re going to have to make friends with our own discomfort and pain.
We Have to Love and Embrace Our Pain
Secondly, we have to fight against the fact that nobody ever told us, in the way that I’m suggesting to look at it, to see this is “old energy.” It’s old emotional states (emotion = energy in motion), emotional energy.
It’s stored outside of our conscious awareness that we’re mostly unaware of, except when it bursts forth into our conscious experience. Often it appears as “the same old difficulties” in life. For many, at some point it gets so overwhelming that we begin to question more deeply, what’s going on?
We’ve been taught to see this as bad, and we try to make it go away. This exacerbates and perpetuates our difficulties.
Because this energy is trying to make us aware of it all the time. It shows up in many ways in our bodies and our minds as agitation of all kinds.
Trauma and Pain Dissipates Through Being Lovingly Witnessed
It’s calling for our attention to say, “Will you please just look at me? Will you please just stop for a second and look at me? Don’t push me away. Don’t call me bad or wrong. Just accept me. Just be here. Love me. Accept me.
And help me to return back to the universal ocean of energy so that I can be used for better things.”
What Does This Have to Do with Narcissism
At this point you may be wondering, what does all this have to do with narcissism? What does this have to do with The Narcissism Mechanism, the unseen power dynamics that keep people in victimization?
For that answer, you’ll need to keep reading. Here’s the next post.
Spoiler alert … It has everything to do with it.